Berlin is Germany’s capital and has the largest population in the country. Located in the Eastern part of Germany, the city attracts many tourists every year due to its cultural vibrancy and its history of having been divided by a wall. Besides being the administrative centre of Germany and hosting many federal organisations and associations, Berlin has become a magnet for numerous entrepreneurs from around the globe, home to startups like Zalando, Babbel and SoundCloud. It is now one of the three key startup hubs in Europe, next to London and Paris.
Frankfurt is a major financial hub that is home to one of the most important stock exchanges worldwide and the European Central Bank. Its central location and connectivity (with 4,000 weekly flight connections to around 300 destinations, direct railway connections to many major cities in Germany and Europe before the pandemic, and key highways leading through Frankfurt) make it easy to move around from Frankfurt. With the German Internet Exchange being in Frankfurt, the city has also developed into one of the leading data connectivity hubs worldwide and host to more than 100 data centres.
Munich, Bavaria’s capital in the South of Germany, is not just famous for its spectacular annual beer festival, the Oktoberfest. It is also known for being the home of BMW and Siemens, and in recent decades, the world’s leading chip maker Infineon. Companies like Microsoft have chosen the city as its base in the market as Munich is the economic centre in the South of Germany and is particularly strong in technology-based and software engineering industries. As one of the leading startup hubs within Germany, it is also an innovation-friendly city with a strong talent pool from leading technical universities.
Stuttgart is the capital of the federal estate Baden Württemberg and the economic centre of the South West of Germany. It is known for its high-end automotive brands such as Mercedes Benz and Porsche, as well as for its mechanical and electrical engineering flagship brand, Bosch. In its surroundings, one can find a high density of hidden champions - small and medium sized companies specialising in machining and automotive supply. Therefore, innovation coming from and to Stuttgart is centred around Future Mobility and Industry 4.0. Stuttgart is also an important financial centre in Germany as it hosts the second most important stock exchange of the country and the largest federal bank.
Hamburg is located in the North of Germany, close to the shores of the Northern sea. A major European port, Hamburg serves as a base for many shipping and logistics companies and has traditionally been a preferred location for trading activities. Furthermore, Hamburg is also a centre for the media and creative industry. Many important publishing houses and broadcasting stations are located in the city and the city has drawn a large pool of creative professionals to the Northern metropole. Hamburg is now a major hub for gaming as well.
Düsseldorf is the capital of the North-Western federal estate North-Rhine Westfalia and with 800 showrooms in the city, it is a centre for the German fashion and beauty retail industry. Brands like C&A, P&C, TK Maxx and L’Oreal have their headquarters in Düsseldorf and global brands like Esprit use the city for their regional trading activities. In addition to fashion, Düsseldorf has built a strong cluster for telecommunications with key players such as Vodafone, Telefonica, Huawei and Ericsson residing in the city. Düsseldorf is therefore another hotspot for digital transformation in Germany. Its close proximity to the Netherlands makes it a good location for businesses that want to expand into the Benelux countries as well.